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Best Organic Dog Foods

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: May 24, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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The best organic dog foods listed below must meet strict guidelines established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Unfortunately…

Due to the tightly regulated way in which they’re produced, organic recpipes tend to be hard to find in stores.

In general…

Organic dog foods can be grouped into 2 categories

  1. Certified organic
  2. Partially organic

By law…

Certified organic dog foods must contain at least 95% organic ingredients. They’re easy to spot… because they’re the only recipes permitted to display the official “USDA Organic” seal on their packaging.

Certified organic foods are rare.

Truth is…

Most organic dog foods sold in the U.S. are partially organic… which means they contain varying amounts of organic ingredients… specified on the label.

On this page…

We’ll share our most recommended organic dog food brands… and we’ll answer the 5 most frequently asked questions we get about organic dog food.

The Dog Food Advisor - Editor's choice

Best Organic Dog Foods May 2024

  • 1. Tender and True (Dry)

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    Tender and True Chicken and Liver Recipe is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Tender and True dry product line.

    Tender and True Chicken and Liver derives the vast majority of its animal protein from both chicken meal and fresh chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 29% protein, 18% fat and 45% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

    Tender and True is USDA certified organic… which makes each recipe a rare find for discerning dog owners.

    Read our review of the full Tender and True Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic tapioca starch, organic dried pea, organic chickpea
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 29%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog had eczema and allergies. Since switching to the pesticide free dog food, chicken and liver flavor, her eczema is gone. I highly recommend going organic. I really like that the chickens were humanely raised as well."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 2. Gather Free Acres

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    Gather Free Acres is one of 3 dry recipes included in our review of the Gather product line.

    Gather Free Acres gets the lion’s share of its meat protein from fresh chicken and dehydrated chicken. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 33% protein, 17% fat and 42% estimated carbs… creating a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

    In addition to Gather’s certified organic ingredients, each recipe also contains a balanced blend of healthy omega 3 and omega 6 fats. A top choice.

    Read our review of the full Gather Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Organic chicken, organic dehydrated chicken, organic peas, lentils, chicken fat
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 33%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog Daisy has a sensitive stomach and has been having all sorts of problems due to her food that she didn’t even like. I switched her to this food and she has made a 180 turn around for the better. I’m very happy with this product."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 3. Honest Kitchen Dehydrated

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    Honest Kitchen Whole Grain Chicken Recipe is one of 8 dehydrated recipes included in our review of the Honest Kitchen product line.

    This Whole Grain Chicken formulation derives the bulk of its meat protein from dehydrated chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 27% protein, 15% fat and 50% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

    In addition to its multiple organic ingredients, each recipe is processed in a human grade food processing facility.

    And each component is non genetically modified (non-GMO) and free of any chemicals or preservatives. All meat ingredients are hormone and antibiotic free, too.

    See all available recipes.

     

    Read our review of the full Honest Kitchen Dog Food (Dehydrated) range here

    Main Ingredients Dehydrated chicken, organic barley, dehydrated potatoes, organic flaxseed, organic oats
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusiv
    Protein Percentage 27%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My German Shepherd is a fussy eater, with his fair share of allergies. I’ve tried all different brands and this one makes my Shermy happy. It’s a great price, easy meal prep and super filling for him. This is the first brand of food I don’t have to add anything or convince him to eat what I put down for him. I think I finally found a food we will be sticking with!"

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 4. Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Dinners

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    Stella and Chewy’s Venison Blend is one of 13 raw recipes included in our review of the Stella and Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Dinner product line.Venison, lamb, lamb liver, venison liver, venison lung

    This Venison Blend recipe derives the largest share of its animal protein from both venison and lamb. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 47% protein, 32% fat and 13% estimated carbs… resulting in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

    Stella and Chewy’s promises all its frozen and freeze-dried raw recipes include vitamins and minerals sourced from 100% certified organic fruits and vegetables.

    A top-rated, freeze-dried dog food for those not requiring organic meat. Recommended with confidence.

    See all 13 available recipes

    Read our review of the full Stella and Chewy’s Freeze Dried Dinners Dog Food (Freeze-Dried) range here

    Main Ingredients Venison, lamb, lamb liver, venison liver, venison lung
    Texture Raw
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 47%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My pretty pittie is allergic to everything, beef, chicken, lamb, tomato (which is in most dog food) grain, etc. It was also recommended that we go with raw food. We have tried many brands of venison, duck, bison and wild boar. This by far is her favorite food. It is easy to store because most of the other brands were frozen. We feed her 2 1/2 "pucks" broken up and mixed with grain free dry food 2x a day. We typically add water to the pucks but she also enjoys them dry right out of the bag."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com
  • 5. Carna4

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    Carna4 Chicken is one of 6 dry recipes included in our review of the Carna4 product line.

    This Carna4 formula derives most of its animal protein from both fresh chicken and chicken liver. Our dry matter label analysis reveals the recipe contains 32% protein, 17% fat and 43% estimated carbs… producing a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

    Features a number of plant-based, organic ingredients. A quality formulation worthy of consideration.

    Read our review of the full Carna4 Dog Food (Dry) range here

    Main Ingredients Fresh chicken, chicken liver, eggs, organic sprouted barley seed, wild salmon Type: Grain-inclusive (barley, rice)
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-inclusive
    Protein Percentage 32%

    Sample buyer review...

    "You will notice the difference in your dog within a few days of switching them to this dry kibble. All of our dogs (2 Seniors, 1 Adult and 3 Puppies) all love the food. They are happier, healthier looking and acting (shiny eyes, shiny coat, more energy, no tummy troubles ie. vomiting/diarreah no itching skin or scratching)."

    Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com
  • 6. Tender and True (Wet)

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    Organic Chicken and Liver Recipe is one of 2 wet products included in our review of the Tender and True Canned product line.

    This Tender and True organic formula derives the bulk of its meat protein from fresh chicken. Based on dry matter, this recipe contains 39% protein, 23% fat and 31% estimated carbs… which results in a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

    A smooth, finely-chopped pate consistency. It’s 100% complete and balanced nutrition with added vitamins, minerals and other trace nutrients.

    Fully organic. Contains no grain, GMOs, corn, wheat, or soy. Also free of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. A quality wet diet. Recommended with confidence.

    Read our review of the full Tender and True Dog Food (Canned) range here

    Main Ingredients Organic chicken, water sufficient for processing, organic pea Flour, organic chicken liver, organic chicken heart
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 39%

    Sample buyer review...

    "My dog is the pickiest dog i have ever had, never wanted to eat anything, always turning his nose up at everything I put him in front of him. Someone suggested Tender and True and it has been a complete turnaround, he cant wait to eat. Cleans the bowl as if her were starving. I highly recommend this product."

    Read more buyer reviews at Chewy.com

Frequently Asked Questions

What is organic dog food?

Organic dog food is made from ingredients grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or ionizing radiation.

Animals used to produce meat, poultry, eggs, or dairy products must not have been fed antibiotics or growth hormones.

What are the 3 types of organic dog food?

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognizes 3 categories of organic products:

  1. 100% Organic: Made with 100% organic ingredients
  2. Organic: Made with at least 95% organic ingredients
  3. Made with Organic Ingredients: Made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients with strict restrictions on the remaining 30% (including no GMOs)

Dog foods containing less than 70% organic ingredients may list these items on the side panel… but they may not make organic claims on the front of the package.

How much more does organic dog food cost?

Based on a 2019 study conducted by The Dog Food Advisor…

The average organic dog food is priced about 23% higher than a comparable size package of regular dog food.

But…

This highly specialized category of dog foods can sometimes be found selling for as much as 40% more than their conventional counterparts.

That’s because…

  • Organic farmers don’t receive federal subsidies as some conventional farmers
  • Organic farming is more costly than regular farming
  • Organic farms are typically smaller… so they’re not able to benefit from the economies of scale enjoyed by larger growers

Is organic dog food better than regular dog food?

That depends on what’s important to you.

Truth is…

Based on 3 large studies, the nutrient differences between regular and organic dog foods appear to be only minimal.1

However, according to USDA data…

Organic foods do tend to contain fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown produce.2

Which could be an important advantage to demanding dog owners.

What ingredients should I avoid when buying dog food?

Here are some of the most controversial ingredients found in many popular dog foods… and the health danger to which each may be linked:

Ingredient Type Linked To
BHA Preservative Cancer
BHT Preservative Cancer
TBHQ Preservative Cancer
Ethoxyquin Preservative Liver pigmentation
Menadione Synthetic vitamin Hemolytic anemia
Artificial dyes Colorant Cancer
Propylene glycol Moisturizer Heinz body anemia
Generic “meat” Unknown source Food allergies

To be sure you never unknowingly feed YOUR dog a food that contains any of these high-risk ingredients… be sure to favor recipes rated 4 stars or higher by The Dog Food Advisor.

Final word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Sources

1: Heinze, CR, Organic Pet Foods: Optimal Health or Overhyped?, Petfoodology, Clinical Nutrition Service, Cummings Veterinary Medical Center, Tufts University, August 14, 2018

2: Should You Go Organic?, Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Medical School, September 2015

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